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Lisa Boylan  Sam Flute

dollhouse in the foyer. Lighted. My father is dead and my mother works for the government. As it turns out, Sam does call a girl like me. Even without the canopy bed, suburban girl accoutrements, and daddy-bought chariot. I drive my father’s beige 1970 VW bug. When Sam calls, my heart wedges semipermanently in my throat. “Is this Alice?” “Yes.” “Hey, how are you doing, Alice? I’d like to take you out.” “No, thank you.” “I’ll pick you up on my motorcycle.” “OK.” He comes to pick me up on a red Honda. “I’ll have a Harley Davidson one day,” he promises. We fly down MacArthur Boulevard and get on the Whitehurst Freeway, past the sulfuric brown Potomac and the shining moon Kleenex box of the Kennedy Center. A scarf my father bought me in India flies off into the night. I watch it waft and fall, landing somewhere on the muddy banks of the river. We arrive at the Hawk ’n’ Dove bar on Capitol Hill, sit in a booth near the front and Sam orders a pitcher, then another. He recounts funny stories about growing up on Capitol Hill, then Georgetown. He tells me how his father called every patch of grass “Dogshit Park.” He says if a car passed his father too fast, he would lean out of the window and shout, “Where’s the fire?” He laughs when he recounts this. He is affectionate about his father. He says, “My father graduated last in his class at medical school, but he graduated, fused knee and everything. Bad boy motorcycle crash.” He winks. We ride to a park in Georgetown, heavy with the lemony scent of boxwoods. I used to play in this park as a little girl, peeing in the labyrinthine maze of the bushes. My playmate was Anthony, Sam’s best friend. He lived in a townhouse across the street from ours and I used to tell him elaborate lies about Martians and vampires. My mother said, “I will always remember that sweet little boy standing at the door asking if Alice could come out and play. He adored you!”

Sam Flute  
Sam Flute  

Story I wrote about Tucumcari in an anthology of DC women's writers.